The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wild yeast of burden

alldogz's picture
alldogz

Wild yeast of burden

Howdy! I love this website. I have been reading, printing and studying on the starter issue. On July 1 I went on safari for the wild yeast of burden...and i think i got one, however, as it is day 13, my starter seems rather sluggish. I did the grapefruit juice starter starting with and maintaining a relatively small amount so i am not losing much when "changing the baby". I am doing about a 1:1:1: ratio(by weight) but maybe after reading these posts i should be doing the 1:2:2..(starter, water, dough). I have NEVER seen a great rise..it is still sitting on the counter. hooch developed around days 5 and 6 and then i increased the flour by weight instead of volume.  It bubbles, but not alot...pancake batter consistency.  So the questions would be:


Do I change the ratio of starter/water/flour (using half white whole wheat and half ap at moment) to 1:2:2?


Should i go back to adding rye in the starter???


How much longer until i can refrigerate (it is pretty warm here right now..my house/kitchen is running in the low 80 degree range.ugh!) said starter? I have never had a rotten smell or any growth which either tells me i have nothing or something?


Anything i can do to kick the little beasty into high gear..i am so anxious to try a sourdough loaf with my new little buddy. 


Any suggestions on maintaining...there seem to be quite a few opinions out there, simplest is best for me...i just bought a scale (for this reason) so go easy on me! Thanks!!!!

G-man's picture
G-man

When I changed from 1:1 water:flour to 3:5 I noticed an immediate difference in how my starter behaved. Where before it rarely did more than bubble and 'fizz' a bit, it now routinely doubles or triples in size.


When I want to use it in recipes that call for a 100% hydration starter it is easy enough to add a small chunk of the firm starter to a 100% hydration mixture. A few feedings at 100% hydration and the new one keeps the activity of its parent.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to 5 times the amount of water and flour by weight, mark it and see how it rises.   If it surprises you, increase it for a recipe and use your little buddy.  No need to change flours on him.


Maintain the starter at 1:2:2  twice a day, but know you can increase easily when needed.  By keeping it out and feeding twice a day at this early stage, the flavor will develop faster than if you keep it slow perking in the refrigerator. 


Mini


 

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

Hi Mini!


is the ratio 1:2:2 really OK for feeding twice a day? I find that even at 1:5:5 (or 1:4:5) the starter begins to fall after 8 hours (and even much earlier now when the temperatues are about 30°C). Or am I confused and the feeding ratio doesn´t have any impact on the time of development?


zdenka

alldogz's picture
alldogz

I did your test last evening...after mixing it all up (i did use a tsp) i had a little less than 1/4 cup and it did rise to just over 1/2 (more than doubled but not quite triple).  So it is working...guess i should be feeding it twice a day though like you said.  It is so  hot i don't bake every day..maybe once a week.  I think i will use that for zuchini bread just to see what happens...when i put it in a quick bread, do i just cut back a little on the water and flour or is that really negligible at this point...i hate throwing any down the sink (but i have a septic system so the yeast isn't going to waste just contributing to the activity somewhere else). Just add it to the recipe..it was quite thick and i don't think it will really cause a problem with that type of bread...has anyone else tried that?


What a great place to get answers! Thanks Fresh Loaf and contributors!!!!

alldogz's picture
alldogz

Thanks Gman, Mini for the info. I did notice that it had risen yesterday..not a lot but some. I would really like to keep a smaller sample and feed a smaller sample so is one tsp TOO small or should i do a tablespoon with the same ratio and maintain that...or was that just for the "test", you want me to keep a larger amount???....it has a sour taste (sniffer is shot after years of sinus trouble)so i do think it is doing "something".  i was hoping i could get by with one feeding a day at room temp but will try anything once...it seems healthy enough...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If it shoots up, then you should be feeding more.  If you are feeding once a day, you should be using a higher ratio of flour to starter just so the starter doesn't go hungry. 


You can use a tablespoon if you like but a teaspoon (rounded) is enough. 


Mini

Davo's picture
Davo

at 100% hydration you may not be seeing a rise simply because the gas is bubbling out of the thing, rather than remaining trapped and rasing its volume. WHen G-Man changed his hydration, I'm guessing he didn't magically make the bugs more active, just kept the gas they made stay in the mix.


I'm betting if you refresh it slightly thicker (more like dough than batter), you'll see it rise. Try that as an experiment (take some discard and do it separately if you want).